Preparing for the Conference: A Comprehensive Review of the Senate Financial Reform Bill

May 27, 2010

On May 20, 2010, after three weeks of floor debate, five cloture votes, and nearly a year of development, the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” passed the Senate by a vote of 59-39.  Three Republicans (Sens. Collins, Grassley and Snowe) voted with all but one present Democrat (Sen. Feingold) to pass the bill and move the center of the debate on to conference.

As of this writing, the Senate has appointed conferees but the House has not.  The conference is expected to begin in earnest the week of June 8th, and House and Senate Democratic Leadership have set as a goal delivering the bill to the President’s desk by the July 4th recess.

The goal appears achievable as, while many differences distinguish the Senate- and House-passed bills, they are structurally similar and, particularly for a bill of this length, there are a limited number of differences that will divide those members who are likely to vote for the conference report.

The attached memorandum provides a comprehensive summary of all the provisions of the bill as passed by the Senate.  The memo tracks the titles of the Senate bill while discussing issues by topic within each title.  To facilitate further analysis, each paragraph includes section and page number references to relevant provisions of both the Senate-passed bill and, where applicable, their counterparts in H.R. 4173, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,” as passed by the House of Representatives on December 11, 2009.

The Senate Bill is the latest in a series of financial reform legislative efforts that began on June 17, 2009, when the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a white paper titled “Financial Regulatory Reform – A New Foundation: Rebuilding Financial Supervision and Regulation.”  That paper discussed forthcoming Obama Administration (“Administration”) financial reform proposals based on its belief that inadequate and inconsistent regulation of the largest financial firms contributed significantly to the financial crisis that struck both the United States and the global economy beginning in early 2007.  The Administration subsequently proposed a series of bills to reform the financial system.

The House Financial Services Committee acted next, beginning with a proposal that used the Administration proposals as its starting point.  As marked-up in that Committee and subsequently passed by the House as H.R. 4173 in December 2009, this legislation became different from the Administration’s original proposal in significant ways.  In addition, in November 2009, Chairman Christopher Dodd of the Senate Banking Committee released a bill that took different approaches from both the Administration proposal and H.R. 4173.

On March 15, 2010, Chairman Dodd released a revised version of his reform legislation.  Modified at mark-up a week later by only a Managers Amendment, it was adopted on a party-line vote by the Senate Banking Committee and, as reported, became S. 3217.

Weeks of negotiations on the bill failed to produce a bipartisan substitute or a path forward.  Hence, S. 3217 was brought to the Senate floor on April 15, 2010.  After a series of failed cloture votes, the Senate began consideration of the bill on April 29, 2010.  Despite widespread opposition from Republicans and a broad spectrum of business interests, the bill passed the Senate three weeks later.

Gibson Dunn’s Memorandum is attached at the following link:

A Summary of S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, as Passed by the U.S. Senate on May 20, 2010 

Gibson Dunn has assembled a team of experts who are prepared to meet client needs as they arise in conjunction with the issues discussed above.  Please contact Michael Bopp (202-955-8256, [email protected]) or C. F. Muckenfuss (202-955-8514, [email protected]) in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Kimble Charles Cannon (310-229-7084, [email protected]) in the firm’s Los Angeles office, or any of the following members of the firm’s Financial Regulatory Reform Group:

Public Policy Expertise
Mel Levine – Century City (310-557-8098, [email protected])
John F. Olson – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8522, [email protected])
Amy L. Goodman – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8653, [email protected])
Alan Platt – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3660, [email protected])
Michael Bopp – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8256, [email protected])

Securities Law and Corporate Governance Expertise
Ronald O. Mueller – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8671, [email protected])
Brian Lane – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3646, [email protected])
Lewis Ferguson – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8249, [email protected])
John H. Sturc – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8243, [email protected])
Dorothee Fischer-Appelt – London (+44 20 7071 4224, [email protected])
Alan Bannister – New York (212-351-2310, [email protected])
Adam H. Offenhartz – New York (212-351-3808, [email protected])
George B. Curtis – Denver (303-298-5743, [email protected])
Paul J. Collins – Palo Alto (650-849-5309, [email protected])
Robert C. Blume – Denver (303-298-5758, [email protected])
David P. Burns – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3786, [email protected])
Charles R. Jaeger – San Francisco (415-393-8331, [email protected]

Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Compliance Expertise
K. Susan Grafton – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3554, [email protected])
Barry Goldsmith – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8580, [email protected])
George Schieren – New York (212-351-4050, [email protected])
Mark K. Schonfeld – New York (212-351-2433, [email protected])

Financial Institutions Law Expertise
C.F Muckenfuss – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8514, [email protected])
Christopher Bellini – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3693, [email protected])
Amy Rudnick – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8210, [email protected])
Dhiya El-Saden – Los Angeles (213-229-7196, [email protected])
Kimble Charles Cannon – Los Angeles (310-229-7084, [email protected])

Corporate Expertise
Howard Adler – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8589, [email protected])
Richard Russo – Denver (303-298-5715, [email protected])
Dennis Friedman – New York (212-351-3900, [email protected])
Robert Cunningham – New York (212-351-2308, [email protected])
Joerg Esdorn – New York (212-351-3851, [email protected])
Wayne P.J. McArdle – London (+44 20 7071 4237, [email protected])
Stewart McDowell – San Francisco (415-393-8322, [email protected])
C. William Thomas, Jr. – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3735, [email protected])

Private Equity Expertise
E. Michael Greaney – New York (212-351-4065, [email protected])

Private Investment Funds Expertise
Edward Sopher – New York (212-351-3918, [email protected])
Jennifer Bellah Maguire – Los Angeles (213-229-7986, [email protected])

Real Estate Expertise
Jesse Sharf – Century City (310-552-8512, [email protected])
Alan Samson – London (+44 20 7071 4222, [email protected])
Fred Pillon – San Francisco (415-393-8241, [email protected])
Dennis Arnold – Los Angeles (213-229-7864, [email protected])
Michael F. Sfregola – Los Angeles (213-229-7558, [email protected])
Andrew Lance – New York (212-351-3871, [email protected])
Eric M. Feuerstein – New York (212-351-2323, [email protected])
David J. Furman – New York (212-351-3992, [email protected])
L. Mark Osher – Los Angeles (213-229-7694, [email protected])
Drew C. Flowers – Los Angeles (213-229-7885, [email protected])
Teresa J. Farrell – Orange County (949-451-3895, [email protected])
Deborah A. Cussen – San Francisco (415-393-8226, [email protected])

Crisis Management Expertise
Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. – Los Angeles (213-229-7804, [email protected])

Bankruptcy Law Expertise
Michael Rosenthal – New York (212-351-3969, [email protected])
David M. Feldman – New York (212-351-2366, [email protected])
Oscar Garza – Orange County (949-451-3849, [email protected])
Craig H. Millet – Orange County (949-451-3986, [email protected])
Thomas M. Budd – London (+44 20 7071 4234, [email protected])
Gregory A. Campbell – London (+44 20 7071 4236, [email protected])
Janet M. Weiss – New York (212-351-3988, [email protected])
Matthew J. Williams – New York (212-351-2322, [email protected])
J. Eric Wise – New York (212-351-2620, [email protected])

Tax Law Expertise
Arthur D. Pasternak – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8582, [email protected])
Paul Issler – Los Angeles (213-229-7763, [email protected])
J. Nicholson Thomas – Los Angeles (213-229-7628, [email protected])
Jeffrey M. Trinklein – New York (212-351-2344, [email protected])
Romina Weiss – New York (212-351-3929, [email protected])
Benjamin H. Rippeon – Washington, D.C. (202-955-8265, [email protected])

Executive and Incentive Compensation Expertise
Stephen W. Fackler – Palo Alto (650-849-5385, [email protected])
Charles F. Feldman – New York (212-351-3908, [email protected])
Michael J. Collins – Washington, D.C. (202-887-3551, [email protected])
Sean C. Feller – Los Angeles (213-229-7579, [email protected])
Amber Busuttil Mullen – Los Angeles (213-229-7023, [email protected]

© 2010 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Attorney Advertising:  The enclosed materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.